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4 Reasons Why Investors Should Buy Alexion (ALXN) in 2020

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Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ALXN is a biopharmaceutical company, focused on developing and commercializing life-transforming drugs for the treatment of patients with ultra-rare disorders.

Here are four reasons to invest in the stock.

Favorable Rank & Rising Share Price: Alexion’s shares have gained 7.9% in the past year compared with the industry’s growth of 8.7%. The company sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Blockbuster Drug Soliris Maintains Momentum: Alexion’s blockbuster drug, Soliris (for the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria [PNH] and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome [aHUS]), maintains momentum on the back of strong volume growth. The drug is also approved for the treatment of refractory gMG in patients, who are anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive in the United States and Europe. The growth of the drug for this indication has been strong in the United States, driven by strong patient demand. Moreover, the FDA approved the drug to treat neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD). To further increase the commercial potential of the drug, Alexion is working on expanding its label into additional indications.

Ultomiris’ Uptake Has Been Strong: To combat generic competition for Soliris, once it loses patent protection, Alexion developed a long-acting C5 complement inhibitor, Ultomiris, for the treatment of adults with PNH, which consolidated its PNH franchise. The initial uptake of the drug has been strong. Meanwhile, Alexion is also working to expand Ultomiris’ label. The drug was recently approved in the United States for the treatment of aHUS in adults and children one month and older.

Pipeline Development Efforts Encouraging: Alexion is looking to strengthen its pipeline through acquisitions and collaborations. It inked a definitive agreement to acquire a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., for $930 million to strengthen its PNH franchise. Achillion primarily focuses on the development of oral small molecule Factor D inhibitors to treat people with complement alternative pathway-mediated rare diseases, such as PNH and C3 glomerulopathy (C3G). The acquisition will add two clinical-stage candidates to Alexion’s pipeline — lead candidate danicopan (ACH-4471) in phase II and ACH-5228 in phase I. A potential approval of danicopan will make the company a market leader in the PNH space.

The company also announced a collaboration agreement with Stealth BioTherapeutics Corp MITO for a late-stage therapy for mitochondrial diseases. Both companies announced an agreement to co-develop and commercialize elamipretide, a novel, potential first-in-class therapy that targets mitochondrial dysfunction. The candidate is currently being evaluated in a phase III study in patients with primary mitochondrial myopathy (PMM).

Conclusion: With a strong portfolio of rare disease drugs and a solid pipeline, we expect the company to continue on its growth trajectory. The development of other drugs will also reduce the company’s dependence on Soliris. Notably, Amgen AMGN is developing a biosimilar of Soliris.

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